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Senior Puntland Official Defects To Somaliland,
Abdillahi Yusuf’s Regime Crumbling From within
Hargeisa, Feb 21, 2004 (SL Times) – Mr. Hassan Mahmud Dhiilood,
Puntland’s minister of education arrived in Hargeisa on Thursday after
defecting to Somaliland's authorities earlier this week.
News about the defection of the Sanag-born official was first reported
following his sudden arrival in Erigavo last Monday night. Mr. Hassan
Dhiilood who is from the Dhulbahante clan, has declared allegiance to
In addition to his job as education minister, Mr. Dhiilood also served
as Abdillahi Yusuf’s war secretary for the Las-Anod area.
His switch of allegiance is seen by observers as a triumph for
Somaliland and a serious political setback for Puntland’s warlord,
In a brief statement he made after arriving in Hargeisa, Mr. Dhiilood
thanked the people and the government of Somaliland for the warm
welcome they had given him since arriving back in the country.
Mr. Dhiilood said he was returning to his own country and home and,
“for that reason, I wasn’t surprised by the warm reception accorded to
Meanwhile, Abdillahi Yusuf’s regime is crumbling from within.
Opposition is mounting in Puntland against the decision by the
rubber-stamp parliament to extend the period of Abdillahi
Yusuf’s rule by 2 more years. Most Puntlanders reject the extension of
Abdillahi Yusuf's mandate.
The minister of Fisheries, Abdirizak Shaandoon, and the minister of
Finance, Abdirahman Faroole, have both declared their opposition to
the mandate given to Abdillahi Yusuf to rule Puntland for 2 more
Warlord Abdillahi Yusuf first took power in Puntland in 1998. After
his first term expired in 2000, he refused to hold elections.
The warlord’s insistence to cling to power is expected to face stiff
resistance from major segments of the population.